Walz lands huge commitment in '14 class

Jeff Walz

University of Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz and staff have already cashed in on the NCAA Tournament success in recruiting. The Cardinals landed a major target for the Class of 2014 on Wednesday afternoon.

When Ariana Freeman backed off her commitment to West Virginia last month she told her parents she wanted to take her time with the recruiting process.

But then a week later she visited the University of Louisville and on Wednesday afternoon she gave U of L coach Jeff Walz a verbal commitment.

"After we visited Louisville, I was sold," Freeman told Cardinal Authority. "I wanted to commit on the spot, but I knew I needed to think about it more.

"Once they beat Baylor and Tennessee back-to-back, to know a coach can get his team up to that level, that confirmed it."

The 5-foot-11 Freeman is a wing from Manassas, Va., Paul VI High School. She averaged 19.7 points and 10.8 rebounds a game for a team that finished 29-4.

Freeman is ranked as the No. 35 player in the Class of 2014 by ESPN.

After backing off the commitment from the Mountaineers, Freeman picks U of L over Tennessee, Penn State and Kentucky among others.

"The thing that separated Louisville from Tennessee, Penn State, Kentucky and the other top programs was coach (Jeff) Walz. Usually it's the assistant coaches and not the head coach that are so talkative to a player.

"But coach Walz was always right there in the front row for me. He flew out (Tuesday) just to watch a regular open gym for an hour and a half. Coaches can say whatever they want but he showed that he wanted me."

Freeman is the second commitment in the '14 class for the Cardinals. U of L also has a commitment from Harveysburg, Ohio, Clinton Massie forward Sydney Brackemyre.

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